Patriots: Here’s Why Cam Newton Won’t Be Changing the Team’s Culture

Quarterback Cam Newton #1, now of the New England Patriots (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Quarterback Cam Newton #1, now of the New England Patriots (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots QB Cam Newton is on a mission and he may not be his usual self.

The loss of Tom Brady is now hardly an issue for the New England Patriots after Bill Belichick swooped in and signed Cam Newton to a one-year, $7.5 million contract (only $550K of which is guaranteed). Underneath all the outrage about the Pats getting away with robbery, there’s another big talking point here: Will Newton help change the Patriots culture?

The answer is no. Newton is a transcendent player in many ways, but let’s get a couple of things straight here.

The first is that he’s purely about making a comeback and sticking it to his former employer (the Carolina Panthers) for cutting him after a couple of seasons that were severely impacted by injuries. We can expect he will be focusing on his game/improvement as a player and winning — even more so than he was before. It’s fully back to business for Newton.

You heard the man. Signing this small contract with the Patriots was about respect, not money. Like we alluded to earlier in the week, this is a guy who has earned over $120 million for his career. He’s one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks the game has ever seen. But he’s on a mission to get back to the mountaintop and strive for football greatness.

Newton is certainly a jovial character in many ways and brings a ton of flair to postgame press conferences with his unique and intricate sense of fashion, but that’ll hardly be what he’s known for in 2020. This is a redemption tour.

Secondly, we understand the Patriots are known for their “rigid” culture that echoes the “Do Your Job” and “Next Man Up” mentalities, but since when did the Patriots not celebrate or offer intriguing soundbites? Don’t lump Brady and Belichick in with what the rest of the players are doing. Gronk just gave us a decade of laughs, epic celebrations and silly outfits.

Belichick doesn’t discourage his players from celebrating or showing emotion — that’s just implied more times than you might think given his behavior and demeanor as a head coach. Newton won’t be treated any differently, especially because those aspects of his game are integral to who he is as a player.

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Just like those before him (and some on the roster at the moment), Newton should seamlessly fit into New England’s system and have his performance be the overarching storyline in 2020. As for the Patriots culture? That’ll remain the same, but don’t let anybody fool you into thinking that’s a bad thing.